Running the Chicago Marathon on Sunday was obviously the highlight of the weekend, but the rest of my weekend downtown was pretty great.

On Friday, after checking into our hotel room, I headed to the expo to meet up with some friends … and meet Desi Davila!

Meeting Desi Davila at the Chicago Marathon expo #chimarathon
Amanda, Sara, Jeni, Desi Davila, me, Kelly

Desi signed my bib :)  #ChiMarathon

After a gait analysis (which reaffirmed that Brooks Adrenalines are a good shoe for me), we enjoyed a quick fun run with Brooks along Lake Michigan.

Lovely fall run by the lake with @BrooksRunning at the #ChiMarathon Expo yesterday.
This city is so beautiful

Before meeting Desi, we did other expo-y things:

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Find my name on the wall and support Nike marketing …


And buy official Chicago Marathon gear. I’ve wanted a “neighborhoods” shirt since I saw Kelly’s shirt from the 2011 marathon. Even though we were there on day one of the expo, Nike was sold out of the neighborhoods shirt in most women’s sizes, so I went with a men’s small. (First world problem.)

We also ran into Nicole right before heading out for our fun run:

After the fun run, I had to get back to the hotel quickly for the Team Pasta dinner with the American Cancer Society. I ended up taking the Metra to/from the expo, which worked out perfectly for me. It was only about a 5 minute ride, the Van Buren station was a couple blocks from our hotel, the train stopped right at McCormick Place (and very close to the expo hall), and since I already have a Metra month pass, it was “free.” I had a feeling with rush hour traffic, and the location of the downtown pick-ups, the shuttle busses would have taken much longer for me.

Anyway, I missed the pre-dinner singlet decorating, but luckily we got there in time for everything else. Dinner was a pasta buffet (of course) and there were quite a few speakers – cancer survivors, care givers, the top fundraiser (she raised over $30,000! amazing!) and more.

We stayed at the Palmer House Hilton for the weekend. The ACS worked out a deal for DetermiNation runners, and my parents generously paid for our room. There was a two-night minimum of course. Bummer! Haha. Our room was quaint, but comfortable. And had a nice view of the Chicago Loop facing south.

Pink lights at the palmer house

Palmer House Hilton Palmer House Hilton 

Palmer House Hilton Palmer House Hilton

On Saturday, we enjoyed sleeping in, and because there was no coffee maker in our hotel room (another #FWP), I had to head down to the Starbucks in the lobby for my caffeine fix. But I didn’t want to change out of my pajamas. So I improvised in an attempt to not look like a total bum walking through the lobby of one of the nicest hotels in the city.


Later on, I met up with some lovely Chicago running bloggers for some carbo-loading at Flat Top Grill.

Emily, Lauren, Me, Kayla, Luiz, Charlyn, Erin, Amanda

Dinner that evening was at Trattoria Isabella, at the recommendation of a co-worker. It was also an excuse for me to wear a new dress.

wardrobe remix

Dinner was great, but I didn’t want to eat anything that I’d regret the following day. So nothing with seafood or a cream sauce or anything else questionable. I basically ordered pasta with red sauce. It was good, but kind of a bummer to not be able to eat something I’d really enjoy. (I will eat pretty much anything.) Dinner went pretty quickly (that happens when you eat at 5:30pm and don’t order appetizers or anything else really because you don’t want to over-eat and have nowhere to store leftovers … again, first world problem), so afterward we stopped at Plymouth Rooftop Bar & Grill. The Sailor got a beer, I sucked down club soda. There was some big football game. (Haha, it was the Notre Dame – Miami game being played at Soldier Field.) But I was more interested in the view from the patio.

View of the library from the Plymouth Rooftop
Harold Washington Library and the L

I wanted to go to bed early that night, but The Sailor didn’t. (I don’t blame him … you’re in the middle of an awesome city, and you don’t have to get up early for a marathon … I wouldn’t want to go to go to bed at 9pm either!) He ended up meeting up with friends, which left me a nice quiet hotel room to attempt to get some sleep. Once I finally put down my phone (when I realized all of my friends had gone to bed), I actually slept better than I expected. And I woke up 10 minutes before my alarm was supposed to go off.

And then it was race time